Hughes Files 117,000 Name Vows to Continue Teaching
Independent H. Stuart Hughes, professor of History at Harvard, became the first Massachusetts candidate for the U.S. Senate to assure himself a place on November's ballot Tuesday morning, when he submitted to state election officials over 117,000 valid signatures on petitions endorsing his candidacy.
(In a press conference following the State House ceremony, Hughes announced that he would continue to teach at Harvard during the fall campaign.)
In a brief statement outside the office of the state's Division of Elections, Hughes announced that he had submitted to town clerks over 147,000 signatures for validation, despite the reported loss of over 6,000 signatures from the Worcester and Pittsfield areas. The net total of 117,000 gave him a comfortable margin over the 75,000 needed to get on the ballot.
"Never before in the history of the Commonwealth," Hughes claimed, "has there been such a tremendous response to a signature drive. The unprecedented total represents the disgust of the people of this state for routine party politics and an enormous concern for the future of humanity." The response, Hughes said, indicated "a very real possibility of victory in November."
"I was optimistic," Hughes told reporters at his press conference. "I thought we might get 100,000 signatures and just get on the ballot with 75,000 validations. This is our first victory."
In answer to a question on the role his wife would play in the fall campaign, Hughes declared that he will not run "a circus-type campaign" and that he will continue to teach at Harvard during the fall.
"I want to demonstrate a new style in political campaign he maintained. "I believe very strongly in the idea of a citizen campaign and that a man should not have to be independent wealthy in order to run for office I have pledged myself to President Pusey to continue my teaching duties during the fall."
Hughes said that the organization of 1500 workers who had selected signatures in the state-wide drive would now be geared toward the election campaign.
The fall campaign will differ from the signature drive, Hughes said, in that he intends to go before audiences larger than the small groups which he addressed during the drive.
"We intend to use television the extent to which our limited funds will allow us," he continued. "We are operating on a shoe-string budget, but now that I'm on the ballot, several national programs that have shown the other candidates have promised to put me on."